Sewing

Face Mask with a Window so the hearing impaired can read your lips

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I can only imagine how it must feel to live with a hearing impairment in the world of hearing people and not being able to lip read because their mouths are covered. I decided to make this pattern for a face mask with a window for everybody who communicates with people who need to lip read.

How to combine the necessity of wearing a mask and letting other people see your lips? It’s actually quite easy, you just need to replace a piece of the fabric with transparent foil. Obviously, I had to make exception from the rule that face masks should be made from 100% cotton fabrics but actually, the mask can be sterilized in boiling water just as well (although I cannot tell how many sterilizations this mask can survive).

There are also two things I need to mention before I show you how to do it. You probably ask, how it feels to have your face “wrapped” in plastic. It’s surprisingly fine in this case because the window is relatively small and it doesn’t feel like wearing plastic. The second thing is that the window gets foggy. However, the lips can still be seen although it’s obviously not the same like when you don’t wear a mask. So all in all, it’s worth it.

So let’s do this and if you’re looking for a more complicated but also more transparent version of this mask, look here.

Supplies

  • pattern – I’m using the pattern for this mask because it doesn’t have a seam in the center.
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • elastic or ties
  • transparent foil
  • thread
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • scissors

How to make the Face Mask with a Window so the hearing impaired can read your lips

So first, cut the pattern – 2 pieces, cut on fold.

Pin them together and draw the window. I found the center of the mask and from there I drew the window 8 cm wide and 4 cm tall. However, you can choose any other size. Pin around the window.

Cut out the window.

Cut a rectangular window from the foil that’s larger than the window you cut out. Place the foil on one pieces of the face mask (the wrong side). Pin.

Fold both pieces (the one with the window and the one without it) in half and stitch the short diagonal edges (where I have the pins).

When you open them this is what they should look like.

Now pin the pieces right sides together and make sure their centers are aligned.

Stitch the edges together leaving one short side open. Turn the mask right side out through this open side. Then topstitch around the window.

Topstitch also around the long sides. If you want to insert a wire, follow the steps in this tutorial (“Inserting Wire”).

Fold the short sides in to create tunnels (double fold the open side to hide the raw edge). Stitch.

Pull the elastic or ties through the tunnels using a safety pin. There are several ways to tie a mask, just go through my mask tutorials to find the one you prefer.

The mask turned out well. I tend to stretch the fabric a los when working with the foil and the mask is too big for me but that’s fine because it wasn’t for me. You can see there are raw edges around the window. There’s a way to make the window work neater but it would take me so much longer to make a mask and honestly, I just prefer to make more mask in the time I can spare. If you stitch tightly around the window, the raw edges will fray a little but they will stop at the stitches. You just cut off the threads and it’ll be ok.

So, that’s it, I really hope masks like my face mask with a window can make the life for the hearing impaired a little bit easier during this pandemic. And if you don’t want to miss anything, just follow me on my Creative Mom CZ facebook page.

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